Dr. Rodmon King to join Centre College as new Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity Initiatives
A scholar and administrator from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York will join Centre College as associate vice president for academic affairs and diversity initiatives. Dr. Rodmon King, currently a faculty member in philosophy, begins his new position on Nov. 30, 2015.
King is no stranger to Centre, which he has visited through his participation in the GLIMPSE diversity student leadership conferences that have been held on the Danville campus several times. GLIMPSE conferences—the acronym stands for Gathering, Listening, Igniting, Mending, Preserving, Surviving and Empowering—focus on what it means to be a student leader of color in the 21st century.
Centre President John A. Roush is excited about the hire and eager for King to begin his work.
“Rodmon impressed everyone with his knowledge and experience. Even more, his enthusiasm for making Centre a place even better prepared to educate students from a broad range of backgrounds and to appreciate a wide array of perspectives was clear at every turn,” Roush said.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Stephanie Fabritius is equally enthusiastic.
“I have every confidence,” she said, “that Centre will be a better, stronger place in terms of diversity and inclusion because of his leadership.”
Having met Centre students, staff and faculty through the GLIMPSE conferences, King said he was “excited about the possibility of joining this vibrant community and helping further the work being done regarding diversity” when he saw that this position was open.
As an eventual job candidate, King was impressed “by the deep sense of community expressed by so many different people. I was also struck by the desire to collaborate and foster meaningful change.” Now anticipating his new role, King called this his “dream job” and also said, “This is work that I am passionate about and a community I want to work with.”
The associate vice president position is a restructuring of a position vacated by J.H. Atkins, who retired in summer 2015.
According to Fabritius, the position will provide an institutional perspective on diversity, inclusion and diversity programming in a broad sense, and King will lead the College in campus initiatives to increase the diversity of Centre’s faculty and staff. In this role, King will also take on important initiatives in the area of academic affairs.
King’s hiring coincides with Centre’s recent $750,000 award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for a four-year project to enhance diversity and inclusion on campus.
King’s impressive record at Hobart and William Smith (HWS) includes service on campus committees such as the Committee on the Faculty, the Committee on Academic Affairs, and the Committee on Diversity, Equity and Social Justice. He has also served on several advisory boards, including the HWS Higher Education Opportunities Program, the Centennial Center of Leadership, and the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning.
In addition, he has served as the institutional representative at the annual Consortium for Faculty Diversity conferences, assisted HWS in the recruitment of underrepresented faculty members, participated in POSSE recruitment and assisted the HWS admissions office in various recruitment initiatives. King also serves as the faculty advisor for SANKOFA (HWS’s Black Student Union), and he is the lead facilitator for a program called “Tools for Social Change,” a dialogue series on race, structural inequality and community building in Geneva, N.Y.
For his many efforts, King has received numerous accolades, including the Community Service Award from the Geneva, N.Y., Chapter of the NAACP, the HWS Annual Faculty Teaching Award, the SANKOFA Faculty Leadership Award and a Higher Education Opportunities Program Faculty Award.
Once he arrives, King said that his immediate goal is to enter into dialogue with as many stakeholders as possible.
“We can only start to have a diversity plan if we have a deep understanding of the issues and challenges from multiple perspectives,” he said. “My long term goals are to establish ongoing community conversations regarding issues that impact diversity. Also, I want to make sure that we build networks of access and support that will attract and retain a diverse faculty and staff.”
King earned his B.A. in religion and philosophy at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y. His M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy were both earned at the University of Rochester.
His research and teaching interests are in the areas of social justice, ethical theory, African/African philosophy, philosophy of race, ancient Greek philosophy, applied ethics, environmental philosophy and philosophy of language.
by Michael Strysick
October 21, 2015
photo courtesy of Hobart and William Smith Colleges